Stevyn Colgan

Tuesday, October 6 2015 at 7:30PM

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38 Westgate Street
(Used to be 'the Rat & Parrot')

Stevyn Colgan

What's the talk about?

 Skepticism and critical thinking isn’t just about UFOs, bad pharma and Creationism. It’s about the everyday things too. After leaving school Stevyn gained places at both art and catering colleges, but turned them down and instead accepted a drunken £50 bet with his homicide detective father that he could survive six months as a police officer. He consequently joined the Metropolitan Police Service in London and ended up staying for 30 years.

During his service he found himself frequently challenging the traditional or ‘accepted’ ways of doing things; critical thinking and his own natural skepticism led him to explore different way of doing things, often in innovative and unusual ways. These included using wizards to tackle street gambling, lollipops to stop anti-social behaviour and dog shows to prevent homicides. Ultimately, he was asked by Scotland Yard and the Home Office to be part of an experimental unit to explore some of these new ideas, many of which have now found their way into everyday policing across the UK. The Skeptical Bobby is all about grass-roots skepticism and why we should be critical thinkers in every aspect of our lives.

Stevyn Colgan is an author, artist, songwriter, speaker and oddly-spelled Cornishman. He is one of the ‘Elves’ that research and write the popular BBC TV series QI and co-writes its sister show, The Museum of Curiosity, for BBC Radio 4. He has, among other things, been a chef, a potato picker, a milkman and a police officer. He has written briefing notes for two Prime Ministers and TV scripts for Gerry Anderson and Doctor Who. He’s helped build dinosaur skeletons for the Natural History Museum, movie monsters for Bruce Willis to shoot at, and was the official artist for the 2006 National Children’s Book Fair. He has been set on fire twice, been shot at once, and he is a regular at festivals and events such as Skeptics in the Pub, Cornbury, Harrogate, Hay, Latitude and the Edinburgh Fringe.

He is the author of Joined-Up Thinking, Henhwedhlow: The Clotted Cream of Cornish Folk Tales, Constable Colgan’s Connectoscope, and The Third Condiment. He has co-written Saving Bletchley Park – due to be published in October 2015 with Dr Sue Black and his new book Why did the Policeman cross the Road? will be published in May 2016 (if you want to know how to police elephants using bees, or why an Austrian mayor leaves fake vomit down alleyways, or how the phantom bus stops of Dusseldorf help protect dementia patients, please consider pledging here.) He is currently writing a novel and a book about art, and recording an album of his own songs. He stops inordinately frequently for tea.